Click here Parliamentlive.tv - House of Commons (12:20:54 hrs) to view my question to the Prime Minister on securing an additional £500m for the River Severn Partnership, so that we can find a long term solution to the flooding of the River Severn.
For too long so many households and businesses have been devastated by flood waters and we need to continue to work on schemes to protect the vulnerable areas along the length of Britain's longest river.
The Prime Minister knows that I set up and chair the caucus of 35 Conservative Members of Parliament who have Britain’s longest river flowing through their constituencies—the River Severn. We have submitted a business case to the Chancellor for £500 million to finally tame the River Severn, and I know that his officials are currently looking at those proposals. To tame the River Severn would lead to a gross-value-added uplift in the west midlands of over £150 billion. The Prime Minister has seen this week the horrendous damage and misery caused in Shropshire and all the way along the River Severn by the river flooding yet again. We really need to see in the spring Budget further assistance for communities such as mine finally to deal with these annual floods.
I start by saying that my thoughts are with all those affected by the devastating impact of Storm Henk and the flooding that we have seen over the past week or two, including those in my hon. Friend’s constituency. Action is already being undertaken under our six-year, £5.2 billion investment programme to better protect land across the River Severn catchment area and elsewhere, but I know the Minister responsible for flooding met my hon. Friend, along with the Environment Agency, in his constituency just before Christmas to discuss the specific plans he mentions. I know the Chancellor has received and started reviewing them. I assure my hon. Friend that the Environment Agency is working closely with other partners to explore his plans in more detail.